TWO DUKIES PICK THE ACC
Volume IX, Number XXVII - February 14, 2006
Welcome to this edition of the ninth (we truly wish just as much as you do that we were making that up), yes, ninth, season of Two Dukies Pick the ACC. Rob and Matt invite you to sit back, take a hard-hitting spin to the airport with Eddie Sutton, celebrate the anniversary of the Chair Throw by tossing something - - anything! - - and try not to toss any cookies after reading the grueling diatribe below.
The TWO DUKIES name and material are, for some ridiculous reason, affiliated with http://www.dukies.com, and for even more ludicrous motivations, copyright 2006 Rigel Enterprises, Ltd. All rights reserved, and even though you may have had reservations yourself, we'd like to seat you anyway.
Matt's comments in blue.
Rob Mac K's comments in green.
Guest Dukie duhomme’s comments in red.
WAKE FOREST (13-11, 1-9) @ #2 DUKE (23-1, 11-0)
I loved how Duke just let the Beads get close - - but never too close - - so many times in the second half on Saturday, then hammered them again and again while maintaining a comfortable margin. This was really a 15-point win, and it was very satisfying, especially since Packer started getting amped every time the Twerps drew close. I could almost hear the sound of his teeth gritting as he was forced by federal law to talk about the accomplishments of now five-time 2005-2006 ACC Player of the Week J.J. Redick.
Obviously, the efforts of the supporting cast (with the continuing, and unfortunate, exception of Melchionni, although he did claim six caroms) were absolutely worthy of thunderous applause. Paulus for three! Dockery for three! Sure, they were closer to the emergency supply of Duracells on the UMCP bench (in either half) than they were to an actual Maryland defender while shooting, but it was still nice. Check out Sean’s percentage!! Strong. I think I even spotted Marty and Jamal at game’s end, and the use of Patrick Johnson at the end of the first half was just brilliant (see? I praise the guy, too). I really dug the explanatory quote from K, though, in which he made it clear, without saying so precisely, that he couldn’t afford for Kitts, Wood, and Ray Styons to foul Shelden and McRoberts out of the first half. Yes, K . . . yes!!! That’s it exactly!!! And those three minutes of PJ, in which he failed to mess himself, and in fact acquitted himself quite nicely (unlike many members of the UMCP basketball team, whose acquittals may be a bit more involved), were totally worth it, because Shelden and Josh were AROUND at game’s end. Clapclapclapclapclap!!! Oh, this made me happy.
I’ve often wondered why Josh and Greg seem to be statutorily inhibited from having good games at the same time. McRoberts, though, did have 12 boards to Shelden’s 13, resulting in an even-board result, 37 to 37, and I’m sure this surprised Sweaty as much as it did me. DeMarcus Nelson, like Lee, seized six bounces himself, although he wasn’t really needed as far as carrying the scoring load. Also fun was the utter nondiscombobulation of the Blue Devils as Sweaty, intentionally or not, tried a different defense every time Duke brought the ball up the court, none of which worked at all. This was one of my favorite games of the season; it was far more satisfying than beating the Tools. You could hear a transistor drop in that cavernous building, or maybe that was just the sound of someone gratefully relieving themselves, something you didn’t use to hear at Cole very often (this is the one improvement that MUNA has over Cole, but hey - - it’s not like Cole could have been renovated or anything, right? Totally impossible! Never been done! Unprecedented!). In any case, Duke and Maryland have now swapped broomings in three straight seasons, and Duke has two of those. Too bad about that three-game losing streak against Sweaty’s Squadron, but perhaps that demon has been conquered for now. I’m guessing Maryland will be on the other side of the ACC Tournament bracket, so we may not see them again this season; unlike duhomme (see below), I don’t think the new bracketing rule will be put into effect unless it can be justified by necessity. Anyway, bring them on. Fun game and one of K’s best coaching jobs all season.
Oh, hi, Wake! Didn’t see you there. My first question is why I saw vacant seats in the Tie-Dye Section for the game against Charlotte. I heard mucho blather from Brando and other assorted donut-scarfing deepthroats about how these kids signed contracts indicating they would be there all season - - so what gives? Was there a cleverly negotiated out clause in the contract providing that it was void if the Deacons “sucked” by this point in the season? If so, how was “sucked” defined in the body of the agreement? And do we have a ratification problem here, inasmuch as the Tied Dyes have been showing up for games long after it was clear that Wake, in fact, “sucked?” Does WFU plan to take legal action against the deserters? Fascinating stuff.
Well, Commander Adama and company couldn’t have been too happy with Colonial Viper Pilot Justin Gray’s shooting or performance against Charlotte, which didn’t cut the mustard against the 49ers, let alone the marauding Cylons. So will he renew his drive for the Association against Duke? Probably, but Wake doesn’t have enough weapons to do anything significant in Cameron. As long as everyone wears a cup, Duke will be just fine.
Quick check of the stats: Pornison has pulled 0.1 ppg ahead of J.J. now for the Division I lead, so let’s see if Wake’s porous defense has anything to say about that. As for Duke, we all know about J.J.’s accomplishments, but if you’re like me (and that’s not a road you want to go down), you might have been surprised to learn that Duke is now second in Division I in scoring offense, at 83.5 ppg. Wow! Perhaps even more interesting is that we trail, by 0.2 ppg, the Campbell Camels, but that’s another conversation. Duke is now third in FG% at 50.5, fifth in free-throw shooting percentage at 77.2%, and seventh in the nation in 3PFG% at 41.0%. That’s pretty good, but it’s also a very good fit against Wake’s horrible defense.
Sure, there could be a letdown here, but I doubt it. Duke rolls, and let’s see if any records get closer to falling.
Duke 87, Wake Forest 75.
It's pretty sad how what was probably the second-biggest game of the season for Duke last season (after the Carolina games) has turned into a match-up between the team that is in first by a mile and the team that is in last by a mile.
Quite frankly, it's shocking just how far and how fast Wake has fallen this season. Sure, after the defection of Crotch Punch, Wake wasn't nearly as fearsome as they were last season, but it's hard to believe that they've got just a single ACC win and we're half-way through the month of February.
The Deacs came into their ACC opener with Duke with a solid 11-2 record. They got blasted by the Blue Devils in Billy Joel Coliseum, 82-64, beginning a downward spiral that would see them go 2-9 since that promising start, with only wins over horrible Georgia Tech and mid-major Charlotte. The Deacs have no point guard play, and Eric Williams has been a tremendous disappointment this season. It's no coincidence that Williams had 18 points and 13 rebounds against Charlotte, and had 21 and 11 in their win over Tech - both far above his season averages of 15.8 ppg and 8.6 rpg.
While this could be a trap game for Duke - this looks like the easiest remaining game on the schedule, by far - I don't think that Duke will regress after a solid all-around performance against Maryland that left even the grouchiest Duke fans with little to complain about [Nah, thanks, I can probably still find a few gripes. - - Mr. Hooper]. Barring something odd, we should see J.J. Redick set a new NCAA career mark for made three-pointers, and Duke coming away with another solid win.
Duke 85, Wake Forest 73.
Well I’d like to start off with being impressed by Duke’s Saturday performance against a Maryland team featuring more defense attorneys than assistant coaches this season. This was, in my opinion, a prime candidate for a let-down-loss after a stretch that saw the Devils run through brutal stretch of both conference-dictated and self-imposed game situations including, but not limited to:
Running up and then pissing away a nice lead on the road in Boston, leading to an end-game dramatic finish;
Playing footsie with Fla-State for way too long, resulting in an overtime end-game dramatic finish;
Running the full gamut of emotions against UNC – “up by decent amount - uh oh, they’re coming back - okay halftime lead - now we’re kicking their asses here in the second half so bad their starters are benched - we can coast now against their bench - wait a minute these guys can play – good here come the starters we played better against them – holy sh## this is worse – awwwww, sh##########t now we’re losing – coming back now – now we’re up – now we’re up comfortably with little time left for a comeback – ooops, stupid move by teammate – ooops stupid move by me – whewwwww.” Another end-game dramatic finish.
When you also consider the absolute thrashing Duke gave the pre-report card Twerps last month, there was the possibility of pride-based revenge on the part of Maryland (I said “possibility,” stop laughing) and a Duke player-generated attitude of “we can beat these guys three on five.” So it was nice to see that whatever the coaching staff did to ward off any such malaise was well-heeded by the players, not to mention seeing the Devils thoroughly handle a mediocre team from tip to buzzer for the first time in quite a while. Of course J.J. scored a whole bunch of points, but I was thrilled that he accounted for none of the first 18 of the game, something he, his teammates and the coaches seem quite content with. Also fun was our Williams completely tearing up each and every of the 497 goofball defenses the other Williams called out to his team. And folks, anytime both Dockery and Paulus are scoring double digits alongside 30-plus from J.J. and 20-plus from Williams, we’ll be very happy with the end result.
Oh, and it looks like that little depth problem is solved! Yes, sir, in addition to McRoberts in the frontcourt, K is subbing two more forwards named Mack Roberts and Roberts on a healthily regular basis. I had no idea the players were even on the team and don’t know how they jumped into the rotation so fast, but according to the CBS broadcast team of aging morons Verne Lundquist and Billy Packer they were on the floor throughout the afternoon.
On a side note, I recently received and email from a Duke friend (let’s call him A-Train) forwarding a little item from ESPN that the NCAA bracketing rules have been changed to allow teams from the same conference to play as early as the second round of the tournament, something that was previously prohibited until the regional finals. [Your friend sounds like an intelligent individual, meaning that he probably doesn’t read this site, so please advise him that the change was quietly prompted by the fact that Tranghese told the NCAA that he figured his new, super-huge conference would get nine bids, and no one wanted to be faced with giving the Big East nine bids and then facing the embarrassing mess generated by that nettlesome bracketing rule. -- Matt] As the Train sagely points out, this year’s U-Md squad, should it squeak into the tournament, would be a likely 8/9 seed and wouldn’t the selection committee find that to be a nifty Saturday night game for a certain Durham, NC-based university? Don’t think so? Let’s talk again in about a month.
As for Wake, they suck. Coming off a tight (and nationally broadcast???) win against A-100 also-ran Charlotte. Whoopty-f’ing-doo. Justin Grey had more fouls than points. Whole team damn near as many rebounds as points. Fans, fulfilling blood oath to the Skipper by continuing to wear stupid tie-died shirts augment the “environment” with even stupider tie-died flags. Me, wishing the ACC would have to go to tribal council on “Survivor” and send this pathetic member to exile island.
Assuming Duke pays only slightly more attention Wake than I just did…
Duke 87, Wake Forest 70.
MARYLAND, COLLEGE PARK (15-8, 5-5) @ CLEMSON (14-10, 3-8)
24’s still unwatched on my TiVo because I was out having so much fun with some buddies (I paid them) yelling and screaming, successfully, in favor of Villanova beating the stolen goods out of the Connvicts, so we’ll have to find something else to talk about for a moment. Not, you, Sweaty! There, there. (Wipes hands on pants.) This incident between Evil Dick and his hunting partner/lobbyist merits further scrutiny. (Memo to blogginators everywhere: “bear scrutiny” is not a synonym for what I just wrote - - it’s usually used in the negative, and means “hold water.” Thanks for your cooperation.) Now, which government regulation did this guy refuse to circumvent via a huge cash infusion, anyway? Not like the purpose of these hunting trips is really all that mysterious. But - - using a car? Against birds? Isn’t this sort of like pitting a Jedi Knight against a used car salesman?
Also of interest, especially if you were the gentleman who was shot: the administration’s almost hysterical doth-protest-too much efforts to euphemize everything about the incident (shot in the face = peppered, ICU = living room, lifeflight = transported to another facility, et cetera ad buckshotam); the fact that the guy was probably only okay because Cheney has 52 medical teams standing by at all times in case he has any health difficulties while shooting defenseless birds tracked by motorized vehicle; the 24-hour delay before disclosing the information for which Scottie McClellan had (as usual) no explanation in his press briefing; the Secret Service “turning away” local sheriff’s deputies who showed up at the ranch to inquire about a few things (uh, I thought we were all big on states’ rights, no?), and all of the experts de chasse who have been located to tell us what Mr. Cheney did wrong in his bird-dogging tactics. A developing story, as FauxNews would say, except I have a crazy hunch that they’re downplaying this one.
Hi, Sweaty! So, are you angry? Mad about getting broomed by Duke? Irritated that Duke has guys besides J.J. who are capable of canning shots when given 30 feet of tarmac in which to operate? Upset that your team turned in its usual impersonation of an Association squad in your fans’ personal Super Bowl - - only to find that Duke, for its part, acted out its impression of a *better* Association team? Did you jam your joint into a cattle prod in frustration - - after first making sure that a digcam and two members of Okay-Looking Dewey Beach Female Beachcombers Club LLC were nearby?
Well, sorry about that. I’m sure that Neal and Chukura heard their fair share of abuse from you on the bench and in practice while wondering, yet again, what they did to deserve this hellish hand of cards you’re dealing.
Luckily for the Prince of Perspiration, here comes a matchup against reeling Clemson, whose main job has been to make me look dumb (concededly not hard, and no, that’s not a preview of the Longwood material) after I said that Purnell was turning the program around. Well, I still respect Ollie for comporting himself with class, but he doesn’t seem to be getting through to his team. Now, this is the time every season that Scaryland wins just enough games to make either the NCAA or the NIT, as applicable, and Rob is correct that no one on the Twerps will care about this matchup after losing the Super Bowl, but it’s not for nothing that Clemson has lost so many recent games, including five in a row and two home contests. Moreover, Hamilton is doubtful, and if the Tiggers were to win, it would be their fourth straight victory over the Flyin’ Fluids, marking the first time since 1995 that Clemson achieved such a feat over any ACC opponent. Their 13-4 St. Val’s Day record at home (heh) notwithstanding, the Drops ought to eke this one out.
Maryland, College Park 75, Clemson 73.
It looks like things are finally shaking out around the ACC, where we have four teams that are pretty good, four teams that are pretty bad, and four teams that are pretty average. This game features a match-up between teams from the latter two categories.
That being said, a case can be made that Maryland is on the verge of making it a five-team group at the bottom of the league standings, as they've managed just one win in their last five games. Of course, that one win is one more than Clemson has over the same stretch, as the Tigers come into this one having dropped their last five in a row, and seven of their last eight.
The schedule makers have not been kind to the young Tigers, as during that eight-game stretch Clemson has played at home just twice, a loss to NC State and a one-point defeat at the hands of Virginia Tech in overtime.
Despite the fact that Vernon Hamilton is unlikely to play in this one after suffering a sprained elbow in Clemson's last game, I just have a feeling that Clemson is going to sneak up on the reeling Terps and steal a win here. Maryland - never a strong team mentally, which is a reflection on their coach's demeanor - comes in after getting systematically dismantled by Duke in their biggest game of the season, and probably won't be sharp for this one. Clemson is dangerous at home, and I think they feast on turtle soup in this one.
Clemson 78, Maryland, College Park 76.
As I decided to get a weekend head start on this week’s edition, I write as the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area “digs” its way out of the first snow of any consequence this winter. Since the storm was supposed to start early Saturday morning, all area grocery stores were packed to capacity Friday evening as concerned and diligent residents emptied shelves of milk, eggs and bread. Yes, the necessary ingredients for French (uh, I mean, Freedom) Toast. Now, I am rather fond of this particular breakfast entrée, but it is not the first and only means of sustenance that comes to mind when the forecast predicts some snow. Also not coming to mind: the need to focus my entire grocery budget on just this one meal while passing over chicken, ground beef, mac and cheese, frozen ravioli, lunch meat etc.
I say all that as Head Coach of my kitchen, but it has uses in other areas of life as well. For instance, if I were, say, Head Coach of a basketball team, I would, in the same way, not focus all my defensive resources on one single player on the opposing team while ignoring all the other potentially useful players out there. Unlike Head Case Gary Williams, who admittedly told his players to defend J.J. and J.J. only in last Saturday’s game. D.J. Dingleberry was actually quoted in numerous publications that he went into the game perfectly OK with giving Paulus and Dockery wiiiiiiiiiiiide open looks from three. Here’s a line from the Washington Post: “Strawberry said he was content to let Paulus shoot from the outside and didn't expect him to make 4 of 5 three-point attempts.”
Really? I mean, we’re not talking about Shaq here (in terms of outside shooting ability, that is), we’re talking about a starting guard for the Number 2 team in the country who was personally nailing about a third of his long-distance attempts – while being guarded, mind you - going into the weekend game. When the closest Maryland defender is the guy handing out Gatorade on the bench, any decent player is going to hit some, and maybe a lot, of his shots. And while Paulus (or most anyone else) is not to be confused with J.J. in terms of three-point accuracy, I would have been absolutely pissed had he missed on some his attempts against Maryland when he was so modestly defended he could (in absence of the shot clock) probably have stood still and had a smoke before putting up the shot. Honestly, while watching the game I just assumed the Grand Canyon-like distance between Greg and anyone on the floor wearing a Maryland jersey was the result of a bad switch-off or poor defensive assignment. Not once, until the coach and players said it aloud themselves did I find out it was……………………. STRATEGY!!!!
This ranks up there with an earlier admission that after starting The Berry (known in his first two seasons only for his defense and coming off a season-ending injury) at point guard for the first time in his playing career, Coach Think-Through was completely baffled by opposing teams’ decision to press him. Look, Gary, if after national and ACC Championships, you have decided not to not to steer a team to anything resembling competitiveness anymore, knowing that even an half-assed effort this year would elevate you to tops in coaching wins at your alma mater, while not even bothering to know if your best player is attending class, until that Rehoboth-Dewey-Ocean City party scene starts up again, then just let us know. Until then, quit pretending that stupid product you put on the floor most nights is simply a good idea gone wrong.
And speaking of gone wrong, here’s a trip to Clemson, where, actually nothing has gone wrong by Clemson coaching standards. The STRATEGY here is to simply be less shyatt-y than the guy you replaced in order to perpetuate pointless employment. Clemson comes off a strange performance in ‘Nut Hill where they kept BC to 67 points while… allowing them to make half their shots? This certainly was the result of lots of… hmmm, no that’s not it, only 9 turnovers forced. Then you have Clemson’s paltry 61 points certainly due to bad freeeee….., wow, that’s off too. They hit almost 78 percent of their free throws. (Scratching head.)
Point is, even when Clemson does certain things right, they can’t win. They return home from Boston after a series of flights that probably took them through SEA-TAC, Denver International, Dallas-Fort Worth and then a bus ride from Asheville, NC. Maryland, rested from their National Weather Service emergency sequestering and bellies full from loads and loads of French (I meant Freedom!!!) Toast come into John-Boy Coliseum in need of a conference win to ensure they will pollute my local news at least one weekend into the NCAA tournament.
Maryland, College Park 70, Clemson 65.
LONGWOOD (7-18, Independent) @ VIRGINIA (12-9, 6-5)
Flags all over the Longwood campus flew at half staff this week after the sad passing of the school’s founder, Dr. Hugh Jardon, PhD. Dr. Jardon, a pioneer in the use of suggestive rhythm section music in Cialis ads, passed away following complications resulting from an erection lasting four hours and one minute, for which he did not seek medical attention. Critics of Dr. Jardon insisted that he had always been a real stiff.
With this tragic news thrusting them forward, the Lancers are prepared to wave it in the faces of the opposition, and come up with a powerful, long-lasting effort on the hardwood. It’s a good thing, too, because the school’s growing booster unit, the Lance-a-Lots, is impatient with the premature failures of power forward Inormis Johnson (10.6 ppg, 0.71 assist-to-boner ratio) and scrappy, yet undersized point Nealon Forablow (9.2 ppg, 45% shooting after dribbling and penetrating). A win in Charlottesville would certainly cause Longwood alumni to rise to attention and swell with pride at the workmanlike effort put in to honor Jardon’s legacy, to say nothing of the school’s endowment. But can they beat off a tough Virginia attack and pull it out in time? Well, we’ll run it up the flagpole.
Virginia 75, Longwood 4.
You've got to be kidding me. I'm officially on strike against wasting my time on games like this.[Geez. Don’t be so grouchy! - - Big Bird]
Virginia 85, Longwood 6.
So, Matt tells me I can skip the absurd BC v. Stony Brook throw-down Monday night, and I think I’ve managed to miss trying to pay anything close to real attention to some ridiculously pathetic mid-season OOC opponent serving no real purpose other than giving the walk-ons a night off from scrimmaging the starters. But nooooo, Virginia has to go and schedule this filler with…. Wait a minute… Whoa, ho, ho! Yesssss!
My old friends, the Longwood Lancers! Now, I reckon I’ve lived a good enough life to get the chance to “poke” some fun at a school name like Longwood. But when their mascot is the “Lancers,” it’s pushing things a bit. And a webpage banner like this (check out that thrusting action!) is a sign for me to take things way too far. So, if you thought anything I wrote above or below this section was light on basketball analysis and a bit immature, prepare to be further underwhelmed.
The Whose are coming off a season sweep of Seth-Tech in which they beat off a late spurt by Vassallo while kind of laying back and allowing Gordon to get off (for 24). Singletary certainly had his will with them and just exploded for 23. The outcome may have been different had Tech’s Washington not finished prematurely and got about half as much action as the rest of the guys. Not much was expected of UVA this year, so one should be impressed that they play hard and get up for every game.
Meanwhile, the Lancers (Official motto: Games lasting more than four hours require medical attention) have had a pretty limp season, going 7 on 17 and certainly not going to get any at the end of the season, assuming they continue to blow off their opponents, despite the best efforts of Assistant Coach Michael Huger looming large on the sideline and junior guard Husein Pistoljevic shooting off at every opportunity. Interesting game note: Longwood officials have noted the strange propensity of ACC teams to seat celebrities with either real or imagined connections to the school at their games and, even though, this is a road contest for them, are reported to be bringing such luminaries as; former UNC Football Coach Dick Crum (that even sounds painful); former U.S. Congressman Dick Sweat; NASCAR driver Dick Trickle; Denver, CO, City Council candidate Timber Dick and; (personally the most terrifying to me) “Law and Order” writer-producer Dick Wolf.
UVA (ooooh) beats Longwood (oh, yeah).
Virginia 69, Longwood 60.
GEORGIA TECH (10-12, 3-8) @ #23 NORTH CAROLINA-CHAPEL HILL (15-6, 6-4)
The tough sledding for the Tools continues, as they return home from an exhausting one-game road trip to South Beach, where they met opposition about as token as a non-Curtis African-American agent at CTU Los Angeles. The Institutional Insects, meanwhile, are buzzing with excitement after beating a really weak-looking N.C. State team that just couldn’t do anything with . . . Zam Frederick??? Ooookay! Look, Consultant Herb, it’s a little early for the annual chokejob, isn’t it? Or, wait, actually - - CHECK IT! It's right on time.
This would present an extremely difficult, Fermat’s Last Theorem-level picking dilemma if UNC-CH was contending with a real team, because they’ve arguably been better on the road than at home, but the Ambercoats got so much cooperation from the 19-turnover, 53.8% distance shot-allowing Pack that you can’t see the Buzzkills beating The Team of Destiny in Mos Eisley Spaceport. By the way, Ol’ Roy *does* deserve credit - - his team, other than Klang the Shorter, is a bunch of total clowns, and yet he has them playing very well. It’s interesting to me that UNC-CH is always equipped with a walk-on like Wes Miller who can appear out of nowhere and conduct himself well enough to produce.
North Carolina-Chapel Hill 80, Georgia Tech 68.
Despite the fact that Tech beat State in Atlanta to break a long losing streak, I wasn't all that impressed with the Bugs. They did a good job attacking the basket off the dribble, but I was less than impressed with State's defense against Tech's guards.
As I expected, UNC-CH dispatched Miami over the weekend, and they are not likely to get much of a challenge from the visiting Bugs. I hate to say it, but the way things are shaping up the youthful Holes are probably the third-best team in the ACC after Duke and BC. They should win this one easily.
North Carolina-Chapel Hill 83, Georgia Tech 68.
Ah, another material-padder thanks to a Duke classmate’s timely email. This fellow (we’ll call him Bruiser) informs from Berlin that huge pictures of former UNC player Henrik Rodl now adorn the sides of garbage trucks across the city. While you would be quite forgiven for thinking that this was an effort to distract Berlinites from the foul smell emanating from inside the vehicles with an external experience even more disgusting, it turns out Rodl has been named head coach of a Berlin professional team sponsored by the local garbage company. Our trustworthy source adds that the team slogan is “Anything Goes!”
And speaking which, I would go a lot of ways with this. Such as Rodl moving from playing garbage minutes in various European leagues to garbage prime-time in Berlin. Maybe something along the lines of his career is in the dumps. The team really stinks this year. But I am above that sort of thing. Or it’s getting kind of late and I have to turn this material in soon. You pick.
U-ean-SEEE seemed to quickly put the Duke loss behind them and rode a 25-point Hans, bro! effort to handle the ever-increasingly weird Miami. Georgia Tech, in kind of fun game, beat NC State over the weekend to end a more than one-month-long losing streak (seriously, look it up, I had to) and got that post-New Years Eve win-loss record to an inspiring 4 and 8. The other significance of that outcome was that by raising the Pack’s conference loss number to three, Duke will have to do a whole lot better at pissing away second-half leads to get anything less than a top seed in both the upcoming tournaments.
Oh, and by way, correct me if I’m wrong, but could it be that, as of Valentine’s Day, Duke and Georgia Tech have yet to face each other in hardcourt combat? Could this possibly be? Am I going to have to go and look this up too? The answer to all three is Yes. Duke and the Golden Blazers will not meet in the center circle of any basketball court in the known universe until February 22, a full FOUR MONTHS since the Blue-White scrimmage and a scant TEN DAYS before the end of the regular season. (Hold on a moment, need to check and make sure that Duke-Tech game is Feb. 22 of THIS year . . . it is. Well, that’s something, I guess.)
Anyway, I’m supposed to be analyzing the Bees buzzing into Castle Care-A-Lot. These two teams have certainly demonstrated a kind of zero-sum game in terms of suckyness. The High-Heels are nowhere as bad as anyone thought they would be this year, and if that trend continues in years to come, I may at some future point be forced to publicly admit that Cleatus the Slack-Jawed Yokel is a good coach, although I believe that kind of confession is best made on the death bed. Meanwhile Coach Hew-it’s squad, missing the kind of players he depends on to play his “system,” was expected to be down this year, but not so much that for much of the season, you’ve had to wonder if Dale’s Dead Bug Service has been spraying for insects in both SmackDonald’s Arena and every road gym as well.
So, while the postseason editions on this website will likely be polluted by a certain pale-blue odor flowing out the back of German garbage trucks, a certain flying member of the order Hymenoptera should be no pest at all come mid-March.
North Carolina-Chapel Hill 78, Georgia Tech 65.
FLORIDA STATE (15-6, 5-5) @ #21 NORTH CAROLINA STATE (19-5, 8-3)
One of the reasons this site uses the real poll instead of the TSAD (“teenage sons/daughters of the athletic directors”) poll, named after the young pe